William C. Draper, of Basking Ridge, NJ, electrical engineer, outdoor athlete, runner into his 80s William C. Draper, 89, died in his sleep on Nov. 15, 2017, at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, N.J. He was born on Oct. 4, 1928, in Blackstone, Va. A memorial gathering will be held at Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home, 101 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, N.J., on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. A repast will follow at the Washington House, 55 South Finley Ave., Basking Ridge. For Bill’s friends at Fellowship Village, there will be a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10, at Fellowship Village, 8000 Fellowship Rd., Basking Ridge. For further information, or to light an online condolence candle, please visit gcfuneralhome.com. William (Bill) grew up in Blackstone and graduated from Blackstone High School in 1947, where he played football and ran track. After high school, he attended William and Mary College for two years beginning in 1947, while serving in the Navy Reserve. He was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve in February 1949; enlisted in the Navy in February 1949, and was honorably discharged in January 1953, as electronic technician second class. He then enrolled at The Citadel in 1953, and graduated in June 1956, with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. Following graduation, Bill began work in 1956, for Western Electric (later Bell Labs, AT&T and Bellcore) as an electrical engineer, pioneering innovations in missile guidance systems during a career which spanned almost 40 years. Bill married Margie Anita Dempsey on April 11, 1953, in Charleston, S.C. They were happily married for over 59 years. He enjoyed hiking the Sierra Nevada mountains; skiing in the mountains of the East and West, as well as Canada; running for exercise and fun for over 50 years – notably finishing his 40th Virginia Ten-Miler in 2013, at age 85. He especially enjoyed analysis of any and all sorts of data, the love of which he applied to his volunteer work at Bishop Janes United Methodist Church and as the demographer for the Bernards Township Board of Education. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Bennie and Annie; his wife, Margie; and his siblings, Irving Draper and Bea Atkinson. Bill is survived by his sister, Mildred, of Closter, N.J.; his sons, Chris and wife Lois Fitton and son James of Califon, N.J.; John and wife Deborah of Dallas; David and husband Luis Alvaray of Chicago; and 14 nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to a charity or cause which is important to the donor.

Posted in: The Star-Ledger

Posted on: 0000-00-00

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